OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN)—Sales in Shimano’s bicycle segment soared almost 20 percent during the first three quarters of the year as the world economy showed signs of recovery, according to nine-month earnings figures released by the company on Wednesday.
Sales rose 19.7 percent to 123 billion yen ($1.47 billion) during the first nine months of the year compared with the same time period last year and operating income increased 79.4 percent to 23.9 billion yen ($287 million).
“As a result of robust retail sales in the U.S. and Europe since the spring of 2010, worldwide distribution inventories of bicycles were at almost normal levels except in certain markets. In these circumstances, manufacturers of finished bicycles shifted to new models smoothly,” the company said in its earnings report.
Products introduced in the second quarter, primarily Shimano’s new 105 road group and Deore XT and SLX mountain bike components, continued to enjoy brisk sales in the third quarter, the company said.
“In addition, order-taking of the XTR flagship series for mountain bike components was buoyant, reflecting the popularity of these new products,” the report said.
Shimano’s other divisions were not as successful. Sales of its fishing gear were up a modest five percent over last year, and sales from its other divisions fell 29 percent.
Companywide, sales hit 155.9 billion yen ($1.8 billion), and increase from 134.4 billion yen ($1.6 billion) from the first nine months of 2009.
Shimano is not revising is full year performance forecast, announced in July, of ordinary income of 27 billion yen and net income of 18.5 billion yen.
Although a moderate recovery is underway in the developed countries, the recovery is not secure in view of negative factors such the weak labor markets and the credit crunch, the report said. The Japanese economy is expected to continue on a recovery track, however the situation surrounding further appreciation of the yen is unpredictable.
"In this operating environment, Shimano Group, while closely monitoring economic trends in Japan and overseas, is endeavoring to further improve operating efficiency and take the lead in the creation of new cycling culture and sport fishing culture," the company said.